In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Expressing Christian faith in music is an idea that goes back millennia, but contemporary Christian music is one of those art forms that is, if not uniquely American, certainly recognizably so. For nearly a century, singers have been performing and recording celebratory expressions of their faith in a modern fashion, usually in English, frequently in popular musical styles. Contemporary Christian music brings religious music to the general public in a totally new way, and makes it just plain fun. If you don't believe us, take a listen to some of these terrific groups!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 items.
New Jersey, 4 His Glory are a Christian quartet with roots in barbershop. Member Roger Blackburn is known for his 1973 'Barbershopping in Brass' recording, and has been principal trumpet for several professional symphonies (no trumpet on this recording though). The group's harmonic identity is vertically dominant, but they also embrace the spiritual and hymn within their stylistic convergence.
The quartet performs regularly on the TV show "On The Kings Highway" and gives concerts throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
During its 25 years of existence, Acappella has quietly gone about building a reputation of unparalleled excellence as the premier all-vocal group of the Christian music industry. CCM Update perhaps defined them best as "four-charming, thoughtful artists - these four talented gents are 'the franchise'." Part of this success is due to their compelling on-stage presence in well over 100 concerts a year. They have encountered sell-out crowds all over the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe, Australia, South Africa, China, Jamaica, as well as the French West Indies.
Millions of people worldwide have been exposed to the unique music of Acappella through national television appearances, and by hearing them as the "voice" of Sony Camcorder commercials. Most Acappella fans, however, know them from albums that have won them the reputation for "superb quality".
Acapella Vocal Band (AVB) was a vocal group put together by Keith Lancaster in 1986 to augment the vocal group Acapella.(1) AVB's popularity and ministry quickly grew, prompting Lancaster to launch AVB as a full-time touring group in 1988. AVB went through various lineup and stylistic changes before disbanding in 2000.
In addition to their early duties as Acappella's opening act and augmentation group, AVB performed and recorded as an independent ensemble. Many of their recordings, which included Give Me Light(1987) and Steppin' On A Cloud (1988), were later re-released on a CD titled The Early Years. In June 1988, with Acappella's expansion to a quartet, AVB branched off to tour on their own under the auspices of Acappella Ministries. Both groups underwent a shift in musical style during this period. Whereas previously, they had covered traditional hymns, praise songs and contemporary Christian pop music, both Acappella and AVB now recorded and performed primarily original music, much of which was composed by Lancaster. Acappella forged ahead with an adult contemporary sound while AVB targeted the youth market.
We are the A Cappella Harmony Quartet. First of all, we love God and wish to lift Him up in everything we do. He is the most important thing to each of us. We also love to sing. Anywhere. Anytime. For anyone. We started in the spring of 1995, the spontaneous result of four guys with a desire to harmonize. We started singing occasionally for our church, and other invitations began trickling in. That combined with persistent practice spawned the recording of our first album, Let Me Tell You 'Bout Heaven, in 1996.
Since then we've sung at, well, most anything we've been invited to. At least when it fits into our schedules. Trying to mesh the schedules of four guys, especially in the early years, posed a substantial hurdle. But weekly practices always allowed us to improve and kept doors open.
The group's boundless range and appeal has resulted in one of the most diverse touring schedules in the music industry. Whether at an opera house, symphony hall, campus, church, corporate or community event, or aboard a cruise ship, Chapter 6 is right at home. Opera houses are often repeat clients, while the Association for the Promotion of Collegiate Activities' audiences named Chapter 6 "Entertainer of the Year" (2005). Chapter 6 has performed theatrical pops programs with over ten major metropolitan symphony orchestras in association with The Symphonic Pops Consortium, yet returns to the intimate classroom where the group has conducted over a hundred master-classes for high school choirs. Finally, their Christmastime concert is a favorite among churches and arts venues offering holiday programming.
Committed is an a cappella singing group comprised of six educated, young, men who love creativity, music, and God. The group began in 2003 at Forest Lake Academy and solidified their sound while at school at Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL. Committed has grown to be a very sought after a cappella group for many events around the United States, and also overseas.
Committed has been compared to many a cappella groups like Take 6 and Boyz II Men. However, what sets Committed apart is their versatility. Four out of six of the members are instrumentalists and all of them are able to sing various styles of music from gospel, pop, R&B, contemporary worship, and jazz. Their versatility and goal to inspire all they encounter has kept them creative and has placed them on major stages such as NBC's "The Sing Off."
Eclipse is a vocal group of six creating explosive sound, driving rhythms, and lush harmonies using only one instrument: the human mouth.
The six members of Eclipse originally met while performing in a public relations /ambassador-oriented group that was part of the department of Programs and Entertainment at Utah State University. They began by arranging their own vocal covers of popular songs and performing them on campus and in the Logan area. Increasing public interest and performance opportunities led to the recording of their first album, "Once," which was released in April 2001.
The Emmanuel Quartet is an acappella gospel group that has been singing since 1993. In 1997 the quartet won a national talent competition in Jackson, TN. The group has toured throughout the United States and in 2007 sang for 12,000 people in Jakarta, Indonesia for evangelistic meetings. In June of 2009 the quartet participated in an evangelistic effort in Silang, Cavite, Philippines. The quartet has released five albums independently and in 2010 completed our sixth project titled "Hymns - By the Book II."
From the very beginning, The Emmanuel Quartet has always kept a vision in mind of what the Lord would have us to do. God has brought four men from out of the world to minister to His people in a time when ministry has been used for personal gain and not for His glory. We feel that it is important for our group to live what we share with others. The members of the quartet are not only musicians by desire but are ministers of the gospel through music. Phillip, Joey, Tim, and Ryan are committed to spreading the news of Christ's soon return.
As Contemporary Christian Music magazine describes it, "Nearly two decades ago, Glad's elegant vocals helped set them apart from other pioneers of contemporary Christian music. That vocal sound has since evolved into a complex, self-sustaining life form of it's own..." For those of us in the field of a cappella music it is the vocals which the magazine mentions that are the primary interest in Glad. That's not the whole story, however. You see they really are a progressive Christian rock band. They got together on the campus of West Chester State University, near Philadelphia, in the early l970's. Early on the predilection toward complex vocals with classical and jazz overtones began to distinguish the band.
The group made a bold leap into the secular with their release of the fabulous recording A Cappella Gershwin. It not only set the a cappella world buzzing, but found us listening to their religious work.The beauty of their music is the most dynamic ministry that there could be. It has been pouring out of the hearts of these men for over twenty-five years and has been found on twenty recordings.
Pop music has long known the value of sampling and building upon a well-loved Motown hit. Toys R Us fights to keep shelves stocked with the latest twists on century-old board games, from Star Wars Battleship to Toy Story Memory. And with new versions of such favorite films as Karate Kid and Footloose, it seems even Hollywood has gotten the message: You can't beat a classic. Nostalgic moms and dads are lining up with kids in tow, ready to share the growing line-up of souped-up childhood favorites.
So maybe, just maybe, when acclaimed family entertainers Go Fish hatched a seemingly hair-brained scheme to bring hymns to kids, the beloved group-who, among numerous accolades, has appeared on The Today Show and performed before a capacity crowd at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center-just might have known what they were doing. They're Kickin' It Old School.
The Haven Quartet, a four-man Christian vocal group, began in 1934 as the musical arm of the Haven of Rest radio broadcast ministry. Radio was a medium in its infancy, and Christian broadcasting in particular was a new, uncharted territory. The Haven of Rest program, titled after the old gospel hymn of the same name, and replete with nautical references, was broadcast live, Mondays through Fridays, originally from the studio of pioneering radio station KFI in Los Angeles. As the broadcast became better known, it began being aired over a larger and larger network of radio stations in the US and Canada from its own distinctive ship-like studio in Hollywood, complete with portholes and decks. The Haven Quartet would sing 4-5 songs live over the air during each day's broadcast, either a cappella or with organ accompaniment.
The Isaacs, a multi-award winning family group who began singing 30 years ago, are based out of LaFollette, TN (30 min north of Knoxville). The vocalists are Lily Isaacs, Ben Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman. Playing their own acoustic instruments and joined by other band members, The Isaacs have a unique style that blends tight, family harmony with contemporary acoustic instrumentation that appeals to a variety of audiences. Their musical influences immerge from all genres of music including bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk, and country, contemporary acoustic and southern gospel. They perform frequently at the Grand Ole Opry, are active members on the Gaither Homecoming Videos and Concert Series and travel throughout the year performing internationally. Concert venues include civic centers, auditoriums, arenas, fair grounds, parks, churches and other locations. They have performed the National Anthem for many sporting events, including a Cincinnati Bengal's football game, several Nashville Predators Hockey games, an Astros/ Braves pre-season baseball game as well as various political gatherings. They also received a standing ovation for their patriotic performance at Carnegie Hall.
Thirty men have been a part of the King's Heralds since its founding in 1927. They've recorded over 100 albums in thirty different languages in a variety of musical styles, making them a favorite with audiences of all ages. The rich blend, harmony and balance of their a cappella style has been enjoyed not only the United States, but also in over 50 countries including the islands of the Caribbean, all of Latin America, the South Pacific, Australia, Asia and Africa. Their audiences have included heads of state, governors, ambassadors and other dignitaries.
The quartet sang at the First Invitational Symposium on the Christian Church in China, sponsored by the US/China Education Foundation. This gave them the distinction of being the first Christian gospel group from the West to tour the Peoples Republic of China since 1949. Another notable event was when The King's Heralds, along with the Spanish Christian Radio Broadcast La Voz de la Esperanza, presented 19 concerts in the Republic of Cuba.
SIX are six real brothers. They actually come from a family of ten brothers, no sisters and are the six oldest in the family. Apparently their mom and dad (Arnold and Joyce Knudsen) wanted a girl.
Barry Knudsen is the eldest and was born in Davenport, Iowa. Kevin Knudsen is second and was born in Farmington, New Mexico. Lynn Knudsen is third and was born in Mesa, Arizona. Jak Knudsen is fourth and was born in El Paso, Texas. Owen Knudsen is fifth and was born in Seattle, Washington and Curtis Knudsen, number six, was born in Seattle as well. Their father worked where he could to support his family which explains their nomadic beginnings.
The four younger brothers are a huge support to their six older performing brothers and play an important part behind the scenes.
Legacy is a nationally known Christian vocal group that is based out of Lubbock, TX. Their sound has been compared to many world renowned groups such as Take 6, Acappella, Gaither Vocal Band and Rockapella. The group consists of John Paul Sheppard, Clint Dickerson, Josh Wheeler and Jake Lierman.
Legacy originally got their start in the fall of 2002 while in college together, but the group only lasted for about a year. After a summer tour in 2003 and recording a CD together, the guys felt that God was calling them to do other things with their lives and they decided to put the group on hold for a while.
The Martins' vocal and musical talents speak for themselves. Their impact on the Christian music industry has been widely unique and accepted, yet the industry has been unable to appropriately identify their style. Rather than resting in a single niche among the numerous Christian music genres, The Martins have rummaged freely through a stack of style books, grabbing whatever interests them. Sometimes the different elements are unaltered and traditional, but more often they are tossed into the trio's musical blender so that a new -- and exceedingly tasty -- mixture emerges. The result has been labeled simply as Martin Music.
While each of the vocalists grew up firmly and proudly planted in the Southern Gospel tradition, it is not surprising that as they have matured, a broad range of influences have entered their musical mix. Billboard Magazine describes The Martins as, breaking down walls and blurring the lines that separate Southern Gospel from Inspiration, Adult Contemporary, and other popular Christian music formats
The Master's Men is a male a cappella ensemble dedicated to providing inspirational music to the glory of God. Their goal is to spread the message of God's love in song, in ways that will enhance Christian church worship services and other programs. Arrangements include hymns, spirituals, gospel, and other musical styles in four, five, and six part harmony for unaccompanied male voices. All of their members have considerable experience singing in quartets and/or choruses and choirs. The group was originally founded by the late Mr. Rudy Partin, who was a skilled and experienced director and arranger.
Currently, The Master's Men are blessed to be directed by Mr. Robert Cox, a talented choral director and Christian Music Minister, and by Mr. Larry Triplett, one of the group's founding members and also a gifted choral director and arranger. The Master's Men has been providing music to churches or other religious based gatherings in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
The musicians of Mountain Blue bring a new blend of music that has been called fresh, alive, and heartfelt. The unique a cappella quartet of three men and one woman harmonizes a variety songs in the bluegrass, southern gospel tradition. Their foot-stomping renditions of songs like "Gospel Train" and "Roll Back the Stone" make it nearly impossible to sit still in your seat. Other favorites like "Abide with Me" and "Amazing Grace" with their simple but stylistic arrangements will stir your soul and evoke a spirit of peace. Mountain Blue will breathe a breath of fresh air into any music library.
For those who like to shout "Hallelujah!"
Mountain Blue was formed in the fall of 2003 when two choir conductors from Brigham Young University got together to perform a piece of southern gospel music "just to hear how it sounds." The two searched among their musically talented friends until they felt they had formed the perfect bluegrass quartet--a unique a cappella combination of three guys and a gal.
The origins of the group date back to New York City in 1999 when Roger Thomas started the group with his brother, Warren, and five other talented singers they had come to know over the years from singing around the city. Having been in and out of several traditional male groups over the years, Roger developed an affinity for a cappella sounds and a unique ability to create distinct harmony arrangements. When invited to sing at a major a cappella competition in New York, they won the competition, moved onto the nationals and took away two more wins.
Riding the wave of this newfound success and still unable to decide if Naturally 7 were going to be an a cappella group or a traditional band, Roger had a novel idea: they could be both.
With feet firmly planted in faith and family, drawing from the stream started by the Lefevres and carried on by Rex Nelon, Kelly, Jason, and Amber crystallize a new vision for the Nelons' three- decade gospel legacy.
With numerable awards and accolades including three GRAMMY Nominations, Six Gospel Music Association DOVE Awards and many songs that have soared to the top of national radio charts, this group continues to produce innovative music that embraces their traditional roots, while simultaneously reaching beyond various musical boundaries with an emphasis on introducing songs for the church. All the while bridging the generational gap of music lovers with incomparable harmonies and great songs.
No Better Cause is an award winning pop/soul/funk vocal band hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska. Through a combination of jaw-dropping performances and innovative studio musicianship, their music has put them on a national platform since their humble beginnings in 2002. With a unique assortment of both original songs and uniquely arranged covers, No Better Cause is guaranteed to deliver a show that people of all ages can appreciate and enjoy, whether it be of a rock, pop, funk, soul, jazz or gospel influence... and it's all done using NOTHING but their voices!
Whether it's the rumbling resonance of the bass, the spectacularly soaring high tenors, or the bold beatboxing of the incredible vocal percussion, No Better Cause is sure to catch your eyes and ears, as each unique component of this seasoned a cappella sensation works together to make their harmonized sound a sonic movement. As the group continues to perform, they have made tremendous strides with each new member, demonstrating that the current lineup is one that can be mentioned with the a cappella elites.
Praise-Apella is committed to using their vocal giftings "for the praise of God's glory".
Based out of Cleveland, Ohio, the founder and bass vocalist of the group, Ryan Fischer, is joined by fellow vocalists Jen Howser, Lawerence Williams, Dean Stamatis and, vocal percussionist, Ron Smith. They are currently touring with their new CD, Love God,
Having opened for and performed with contemporary Christian recording artists s Michael W. Smith, AVALON, Natalie Grant, Jars of Clay, Brandon Heath, Nicole C. Mullen, Switchfoot, David Crowder Band, Leeland, Matthew West, Point of Grace, The Katinas, Superchic(k), Tammy Trent, Zoe Girl, George Rowe and John Ruben. Praise-Apella is frequently heard on Cleveland's largest Contemporary Christian Radio station 95.5 The Fish.
Rescue is drawing in listeners of all ages. Their sound is described as fresh and exciting, as they have developed their own captivating style that brings listeners into an entertaining and worshipful arena. Influences include the well-known Take 6, Rockapella, and Acappella. With the doors that the Lord is continuing to open, Rescue is looking to take their music to every corner of the globe.
It all started in the spring of 1996 when Jason Overstreet had just finished his senior college recital, in which he had written and performed several a cappella songs. Impressed with his performance, his professors urged him to pursue his musical talents in the field of a cappella music. Having had previous conversations regarding a shared passion for singing, Jason got in touch with high-school and college friends Jason McKenney, and former members: Chad Krober and Matt Lusk. Together they formed a quartet and committed to learning, writing and performing a cappella songs.
Sweet Deliverance has been singing Christian a cappella for over 30 years. Members have changed over the years but the tradition of tight harmonies and praise to our Lord has not. This semi-professional group is based in the San Francisco bay area and tours primarily in California. Originally, Sweet Deliverance began in 1976 at Oklahoma Christian by 4 young men, one of whom was Kevin Allsup. Kevin, the group's originator, grew up in Manteca, California, where they became based.
Though it has been a long road, it seems that "Sweet D" has not missed a beat. Shortly after their latest release, they added another new member.
Their newest member is David's younger brother, Stephen Morgan. Both David and Stephen have an extensive singing background, as they have been singing a cappella music in their own family group for many years. Now, with six men and a new recording, they are lifting their voices for God's glory, in full force. Looking back, it is obvious that God has seen them through good times and bad, and they know that it is He who has given them the voices to praise Him. They continue to offer Him their lives, their songs, and their voices for the encouragement and the uplifting of Christ's church.
Back in 1980, Claude McKnight formed an a cappella quartet, The Gentlemen's Estate Quartet, at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, where he was a freshman. He auditioned fellow students for the hobby group. The Gentlemen were rehearsing in a campus bathroom, getting ready for a performance, when Mark Kibble walked by and heard them singing. He joined the harmonizing, adding a fifth part, and ended up singing with them onstage that very night. Mark later invited Mervyn Warren to join the group, and the sound of Take 6 was born. Although the sonic structure was now firmly in place, the name was not; the group performed under the moniker "Alliance."
The group performed in local churches and on campus over the next years, with members changing due to college's inevitable comings and goings. In 1985, the lower half of the group (bass, baritone, and second tenor) left upon graduating. At that time, Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, and David Thomas joined.
With ten years of musical career, four albums, a Latin Grammy nomination, six CARA nominations and two awards this year 2010 for best religious album and best song of religion, among other numerous awards, combined with thousands of records sold worldwide, the charismatic and cheerful style Undivided continues to conquer hearts in the U.S. and Latin America.
Undivided is a vocal group made up of six young people who play music a cappella style. Breaking the language barrier, playing their songs in Spanish, English and Portuguese. The group enjoys a variety of musical influences such as gospel, R & B, Jazz, Pop, Reggae, Rock, Salsa, Merengue and other Latin fusions are achieved by the skill and facility to play music with their voices.
These young people are not satisfied with what they have achieved, but are always looking for innovative and different ways to reinvent his style within the genre a cappella, a feature that allowed you to excel as one of the best vocal groups in the world. These young people have a musical talent that not only captures the ear with modern harmonies and musical arrangements, but they combine their voices with the visual aspect to provide a show without boundaries.
Utilizing close harmonies and traditional "old-time" gospel treatment of songs, The Vocal Union has brought audiences to their feet in Tulsa, Nashville, Cincinnati, many other cities from Texas to Ohio to Alabama -and points in between. Family Bookstore managers expressed enthusiasm for the power of The Vocal Union's singing when VU performed at their annual convention in Grand Rapids, MI, along with Bryan Duncan, Cindy Morgan, Amy Morris, John Elefante, and others. In fact, The Vocal Union received three standing ovations and were asked to perform an encore at the end of the entire show! VU has more recently appeared on stage with the Kingsmen Quartet, 'Nharmony, and The Cumberland Boys. Calling on years of singing and recording experience as well as a rich heritage of Southern Gospel roots, The Vocal Union's members bring a cappella musical expertise, enthusiasm, and deep feeling to their performances.
Voice Male has been made up of six very different individuals who somehow found each other over 16 years ago. With the passing of Phil Kesler, they have decided to honor his wish that Voice Male continue on. John Luthy came up with the Voice Male concept while singing with some of the guys in the Logan LDS Institute Choir. Soon nine guys set out to sing at every event they could get their hands on. You might have recognized them from such events as Timmy's 3rd birthday party or the 4th ward Relief Society social. A year later, they lost three members and unfortunately, none of them were ever found. Over the years, they expanded their reach further and further, traveling to several states and to Mexico, performing over 120 songs for thousands of fans. They have been blessed to have many enriching opportunities to perform in great locations for great people. Considering this is not their day job, they are lucky to pull together and accomplish anything at this point. They all graduated into careers ranging from Computer Networking to Real Estate to Law. When they are not working or singing, they are enjoying time with their supportive wives and children. The latest tally: 20 children who like to call each other Voice Male Cousins. Who knows what is in store for the future of Voice Male. It doesn't really matter, because the past has been pretty great.
Voices of Praise is an a cappella male quartet from Gladys, Virginia. Founded by David Gingerich, we began singing together in 1987. Dave had a vision for forming a group that loved the Lord and loved singing, and would be willing to donate time and energy in a part-time music ministry. He began working on this vision in 1985 by inviting several young men to sing with him a quartet. Not all the initial members shared the vision for intensive ministry, but by the fall of 1987 three men, Kelvin Good, Jon Zehr, and Bruce Ramer joined Dave to form Voice of Praise.
At first we gave a few local programs, singing at revival meetings and church homecomings. But before long we felt a call to share through song on a wider scale, and began going on occasional tours. Because we are a part-time ministry and all of us hold "normal" jobs, our tours have been limited primarily to a week long annual tour in addition to several weekend tours and local programs.
Excellence in harmony, spirit, and performance depicts Lee University's newest choral troupe. Since their debut in September '94, their intense musical focus has captivated audiences worldwide. Directed by Danny Murray, this sixteen-member group is characterized by their unique variety of lush vocal harmonies, high-energy patriotic numbers, fun-filled audience participation, as well as heart-felt gospel favorites. The Voices of Lee have appeared on "Good Morning America", Bill Gaither's "Familyfest", and in some of America's most noted churches and conferences such as Christ Church of Nashville, Tennessee. Their convention appearances have taken them from Israel to Ontario and numerous U.S. cities.